Nov 6, 2013 3:46pm
Re: The 1984 Project - A question based on an observation....
S - Here you go.
Bottom line up front. I graded this CR&S as a timeless one that could go toe to toe with ANY other CR&S out there for consideration as "Best Ever". It was good.
Full show write-up:
50. 10/12/84 – Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, ME
(Stand out show)http://archive.org/details/gd1984-10-12.mtx.seamons.117573.flac16
a. Feels Like A Stranger* – This one screamed “I’m from the 80s” right from the start. The keys were bright, jangly and signature Brent. Jerry was all over his envelope filter. Separation between Billy and Mickey was excellent. Phil had a nice solid bass line running underneath everyone. At 2:00, Jerry and Brent laid down a short and simple, but very well meshed up run – again, it screamed “80s”, but it is the 80s – and it was good. Obviously the crowd liked what they were hearing. There was about a minute and a half of the repeated “Feels Like A Stranger” line until the closing jam begins at 4:20ish. This jam alone was worth the price of admission. Jerry’s guitar was dripping funky fire. Completely 80s keys that absolutely worked with this song. Phil is a felt force. Bobby’s rhythm was tinny but it fell right in place with everyone else. Pre 80s purists will not like it just because it’s from the 80s, but this was a really good version. One song deep, but off to a solid start.
b. It Must Have Been the Roses* – Brent is jangly and in front right. Jerry’s vocals are smack dab center, and he is raspy and strained. Brent and Bobby’s backing vocals are near perfect. Billy and Mickey sound like they are on the verge of falling asleep. Phil bomb at 2:25. Jerry clam at 2:33. Jerry’s voice has found some strength and clarity by 2:45. Jerry’s solo at 4:15 is loose, but good. Brent is getting janglier and becoming borderline distracting. Still, a nice solid, well done tune.
c. On the Road Again* – Well now, that was a lot of fun. Brent’s pipe organ keys actually helped this one out. First time played this year and I’m guessing they reached way back for this one. Without looking at the lyrics closely, it sounds like there were a couple of repeated verses as Bobby was knocking off the rust. A handful of guitar clams, but so far the show is still going strong.
d. Jack-a-Roe* – The Phil Bombs Cometh. I’ve always liked this tune, and despite Brent’s slight jangle, this one is no exception. Again, clams abound, but they seem to be characterizing this show which in an odd way only Dead heads can fully appreciate, actually makes the whole thing better. Four songs into the show and I’m thinking we may have a stealth show of the year contender in the making.
e. It’s All Over Now* – I knew if I waited long enough, the B3 would show up. Jerry is bouncing along and his riffs are clear and crisp. Nice Jerry low end and Bobby rhythm at 1:30. Phil lurking in the background, again, he’s felt as much heard. Pretty good separation between Billy and Mickey. Drums are pretty much split evenly between right and left, cymbals are predominantly left. Outstanding B3 riff from Brent at 3:15. Bobby piles on at 3:50. Pleasantly surprised so far.
f. Cumberland Blues* – Signature 80s pace. Brent’s toy pipe organ keys accent well. Jerry’s riffs are loose and hot. Separation between Billy and Mickey has narrowed a bit from left-right to left-center. Pace is quick and is being driven by the keys. Phil is solid if a touch low in the mix. He pops out every now and then. Gets a bit hissy and hot – an equalizer can help a lot. If you’re looking for a good 80s CB, this one is really good.
g. The Music Never Stopped* – This one screams “80s” from the start. 1:48 brings us the requisite Bobby vocal fumble and “nyuh, nyuhm, nyuh” mumble over that is rudely greeted with derision from the crowd. Brent was a little heavy on the jangle knob. Jerry’s run around 3:45 was capped nicely with some very clear cymbal work. The entire closing jam sequence was solid. Phil needs a boost. Headphones helped. I must be getting adjusted to the signature 80s sound because the grate factor is way down, despite the presence of jangle and chimes. This was a good tune in what is shaping up to be a good show. A really good show. The streak continues.
h. Cold Rain and Snow* – The bow wave of sound Brent rides in at 0:30 is all you need to hear. A whole lot of pedantic words and purple prose aren't needed. Use an equalizer to take just a touch of the high end off and the mix is near perfect. Billy and Mickey are sharply split. Bobby’s rhythm is solid. Jerry’s riffs are clean. Phil’s bass line is alive. Put this one on the list for All Time Best contender.
i. Lost Sailor – Enthusiastically received by the crowd, but the jangle factor was a touch high for me. Phil is well mixed.
j. Saint of Circumstance – Okay, I suppose this was a good pairing for the 80s. The crowd liked it, but they were unremarkable for me.
k. Don’t Need Love – I almost hate to admit it, but this is almost growing on me. Kind of like a fungus. The talking drum helps a lot, but I still think Brent is much better as a back-up singer. Whatever, the crowd liked it.
l. Uncle John’s Band* – Started a touch jangly, but Jer’s opening riff – clams and all - is why we love this band. Crowd response at 1:05 clearly indicates their appreciation. Brent’s backing vocals are just darn good. What is a “buck dancer?”. The middle jam starting at 6:05 could have come from any of the epic UJB jams – less the jangle keys. The mix is great – Phil is slightly right and forward in the mix. Billy and Mickey are separated well – cymbals left, skins right. Jer moves from right to left, but stays right most of the time. Keys are back and center. Bobby is over with Jer, but only occasionally pops above the mix. 12:15 to the end was spacey and ethereal and just short of timeless. You almost could have cut the tracks and relisted it as UJB>Space>Drums>Space. Whale song at 14:45? 15:50 gives us the slightest tease of PITB before transitioning into Drums. This was an excellent UJB and was just a jangle key or two away from all time status.
m. Drums* – Don’t pee here. Trippy vibes starting at 7:30 was worth the price of the tune.
n. Space* – Wow. Normally it’s hard to get excited about a Space, but this is one of them. We get a little bit of everything here. Heavy TOO tease/noodle starting around 5:05. Then a touch of Spanish Jam around 5:30. This was an excellent D>S pairing. Oh Hell no! 6:45 brings us the PITB reprise from the night before. The crowd doesn’t hear the tease yet – or they weren’t at the show the night before. Or they were and they don’t remember. That’s a potential new project. How many tunes did they reprise the next day?
o. Playin’ in the Band Reprise* – Outstanding. Timeless. Hard to get excited about a reprise? Not this one.....
p. Uncle John’s Band* – Talk about a band finishing a show on a strong note. This 5 song run was magical. Jangle chime keys here and there notwithstanding. In fact, I’m calling this total sequence of tunes an all-timer. Each tune was good to great in its own right, but in total, the sum was phenomenal.
q. Morning Dew* – You’re kidding me right? How many brains melted in the first 30 seconds of this tune. Coming out of a fantastic 5 tune sequence into Dew seems like a deliberate attempt at sonically induced synaptic fusion. Keys, Phil, Jerry’s plaintive wailing on vocals and guitar, timely rhythm from Bobby all add up to a fantastic version. Phil bombs at 4:55 and 5:00 are huge. Bonus points for hippies clapping in time for almost a minute around the 6:15 mark. Jer’s solo at 7:55 gave me goosebumps. Sure, there were a few clams here and there, and Jer’s vocals distorted from time to time, but that only barely prevents this tune from earning all time status. This was a damn good performance of a great tune. To steal a line from our idiot Vice President Biden....”This is a big fucking deal.”
r. Good Lovin’* – Safe zone tune. So what. Boom. Lights out. Put a bow on it. Great end to a great show. Put it in the books as a contender for show of the year.
No question, this is a strong candidate for show of the year on the incredible second set closing run alone. Right now I’m ranking this one #2 overall behind 10/6/84. This is the stealth candidate. The damn thing sneaks up on you and hammers you. I did not see this coming from this show. Great work from Hunter Seamons on this matrix.